DEAR ABBY: I was widowed a year ago and joined a support group for widows and widowers. (I am 50 years young.) Through this group I met a gentleman, "Robert," who lost his wife two years ago. We became friends and have since fallen in love. I would like to think we have a future together.
Recently, I have been feeling guilty about our relationship, as though I am "cheating" on my late husband, and I'm wondering if this is normal. Should I keep these feelings to myself or discuss them with Robert? Should I go to counseling?
Perhaps the one-year anniversary of my husband's death has brought out these feelings. I'm remembering our last days together and feeling guilty about having started a new relationship. I don't want to hurt Robert or push him away by bringing this up if this is a normal phase most widows go through. -- STARTING OVER IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
DEAR STARTING OVER: If you are not completely over the death of your husband, then your feelings of guilt are understandable. When they occur, please remind yourself that you lived up to your wedding pledge "until death do you part."
Because you and Robert are part of a support group, this is a subject it might be helpful to raise with the other members. As to discussing it with Robert, I recommend that you do. Far from pushing you apart, it may bring you closer. And if your feelings of guilt persist, by all means discuss them with a counselor because you have every right to be happy.